Would you like fries with that?

On of my favourite quotes is  “would you like fries with that?

It is the best-known, English-language suggestion sell. And it works. Every business can up-sell something to a customer who has their wallet open.  It’s just a matter of getting creative enough on your product or service offering.

I tend to favour the suggestion sell cost less than the original item. In the same way that the fries cost less than the hamburger. IT and consumer electronics retailers can sell extended warranties, consumables and accessories. Consultants can up-sell research seminars, subscriptions and evaluations.

This is different from promoting a special, time-limited extra as a call to action. The customer has already made a decision to purchase your product. The cost of acquiring the additional order is zero. It will never be cheaper to offer that customer another product. Seize the day.

If you’ve got a product or service that you can’t find a suggestion sell for, leave a comment and we’ll come up with a few ideas for you.

Now would you like to super-size your meal for only $1?

Executive MBA application

I’ve applied to do an Executive MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). Long-time readers will know my advice from October 2003 to hire MBA’s rather than become one.

I fear most MBA’s are blatant credentialing, especially if the school accepts people who lack industry experience. However the AGSM is consistently ranked at the top of Australian MBA’s which in my view puts just behind the top tier American B-schools. Applicants must have 2 – 6 years experience in managerial roles as well.

MBA’s were originally designed to teach engineers, chemists and other technical people the basics of business. Therefore I saw my undergraduate degree as equivalent. However the world has changed as has the degree structure. Some of the subjects look interesting and I have both professional and academic interest in them.

I will have to do a course in Accounting and Finance Management which looks painfully easy, so the goal there is to get a high distinction.

This is an Executive program which means I’ll earn a Graduate Diploma for the part-time course work and if I maintain a credit average I can progress to the second year and take an MBA. Also the “executive” focus means I apply the work directly to the business I’m running. So there should be significant take-home value.

Some of the desire stems from discussions I’ve had with I-bankers and VC’s recently. Their job is to say no to most deals. I suspect the time has come that postgrad qualifications are another box to tick in evaluating a management team. My goals eventually lead to board roles and so I might as well get a good grade from a great Australian business school.

Of course that’s assuming my application is accepted.